From: Clinton, Iowa. LA Opera: Leporello in Don Giovanni (2007, debut). Upcoming: Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande (2022).
American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is in regular demand by the world’s leading opera companies and orchestras for his vibrant, handsome stage presence and distinctive vocalism. His appearances for the 2022/23 season include a return to the Metropolitan Opera to create the role of Richard in the world premiere of The Hours by Kevin Puts.
In the 2020/21 season, Mr. Ketelsened returns to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for his role debut as Kaspar in Der Freischütz, in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov, and to Dutch National Opera for his role debut as Adahm in Rudi Stephan’s Die ersten Menschen. He was also scheduled to return to the Metropolitan Opera as both Escamillo in Carmen and Leporello in Don Giovanni, and to Dallas Opera as the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, while in concert, he was scheduled to sing Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra and Choirs.
In the 2019/20 season, Mr. Ketelsen sang Leporello in Don Giovanni at both Washington National Opera and the Hamburgische Staatsoper, and returned to Opernhaus Zürich for his role debut as Selim in The Turk in Italy. He was also scheduled to sing the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann at New National Theatre Tokyo, and to make his role debut in the title role of Saint François d’Assise at Grand Théâtre de Genève, in a new production by multimedia artist Adel Abdessemed. In concert, he reprised Leporello with Music Aeterna under the baton of Teodor Currentzis.
In the 2018/19 season, Mr. Ketelsen returned to the Metropolitan Opera both as Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande, conducted by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and as Escamillo. In addition, he returned to Opernhaus Zürich as Conte Rodolfo in La Sonnambula, to San Francisco Opera as Escamillo, and to Lyric Opera of Chicago as the King of Scotland in Ariodante. Finally, he sang Méphistophélès in The Damnation of Faust in Linz and Bonn with Les Siècles, and performed in holiday concerts with the Madison Symphony.
Operatic highlights of Mr. Ketelsen’s recent seasons include returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Escamillo, Leporello, and Mr. Flint in Billy Budd; to Opernhaus Zürich both as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust and for his role debut as Golaud in a new production of Pelléas et Mélisande, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov; and to Dutch National Opera as Nick Shadow in Simon McBurney’s production of The Rake’s Progress. He also reprised several roles, including the title role of The Marriage of Figaro in his house debut at the Staatsoper Berlin and at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in a new production by Lluís Pasqual; Leporello in house debuts at both Dallas Opera and Opéra National de Lyon; and Golaud in a production at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, conducted by Louis Langrée. In addition, he returned to the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Nick Shadow; sang at the Bavarian State Opera as Basilio in The Barber of Seville; made his role debut as Enrico VIII in Anna Bolena at Minnesota Opera; sang Don Fernando in Fidelio at Houston Grand Opera; and sang Cadmus in Semele at the Canadian Opera Company (on tour at the Brooklyn Academy of Music).
Recent concert highlights include performances with Harry Bicket and The English Concert on tour as Zoroastro in Handel’s Orlando, as well as appearances with the St. Louis Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah under the baton of Bernard Labadie. Other performances include Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Beethoven’s Fidelio with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, Mozart’s Requiem with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Zukerman, Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, de Falla’s Master Peter’s Puppet Show with The Knights at the Tanglewood Festival, and Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Ketelsen made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, followed by performances as the title role in The Marriage of Figaro and Méphistophélès in Faust, both conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. In addition, he made role debuts as Nick Shadow at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and as Alidoro in La Cenerentola at the Canadian Opera Company. He has also performed at other leading opera houses including the Teatro Real in Madrid, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
In concert, Mr. Ketelsen made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Oratorio Society of New York in Haydn’s Creation, and reprised this work with Music of the Baroque in Chicago. Other career highlights on the concert stage include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Berlioz’s Lélio, de Falla’s El Retablo del Maese Pedro, and Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq reflets au l’Amour de loin, under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen; with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex; with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella under the baton of Pierre Boulez, for a recording released on CD; with the Seattle Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem under Itzhak Perlman; with the Cleveland Orchestra in Haydn’s Harmoniemesse under Franz Welser-Möst; and with the Orchestre National de France, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Ketelsen has won first prize in several international vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Richard Tucker Music Foundation (Career Grant), the George London Foundation, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index, MacAllister Awards, Fort Worth Opera, National Opera Association, Connecticut Opera, and Liederkranz Foundation. He is an alumnus of the University of Iowa and Indiana University.